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ISSUE:  Winter 2007

On the seventh, eighth, and fifteenth balconies
strung colored lights persist
through January.

Somebody needs them, somebody forgot them,
somebody said about them
forget them

it’s cold. Dismantling the damn things at all
may be a sticking point
in some quarrel.

Heaps of redundant firs on every street
ought to be gone by now;
they ought

to take them. Older men are out and running
bitterly as if
what’s coming

wants them, is behind them, getting closer,
is quite like them but fitter,

has watched them steadily while it was gaining,
stroked their short white hair,
heard breathing,

but you see when they turn round there’s really no one.
They clutch into the fence
on the reservoir

and look at the gray water. What arrives
knows absolutely nothing.
It believes

the dead trees are for planting, those who run
are scampering to its arms,
and that green sprinkle

of colored light way up on that high building
day and night is only
the beginning.


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